The Netherlands Reverses 12 Straight Years of Recording Sales Declines…

Thank you, Spotify?

 (fysiek = physical)

This is a story that’s becoming contagious in Northern Europe: long, decade-plus recording declines that suddenly stop declining.

The latest example is happening in the Netherlands, where 12 straight years of recording sales declines are suddenly taking a breather.  According to Dutch entertainment industry association NVPI, aggregate recording sales are up 1.9 percent so far in 2013, which is the first gain since 2001.

Both downloads and albums are decreasing, which means streaming is effectively the only growth story here.  “The good news is that after 12 years, sales are increasing,” Kees van der Hoeven, CEO and Chairman of Universal Music said.

“Consumers have clearly embraced streaming services.”

The only problem isn’t that the Netherlands isn’t getting their old business back.  Instead, they’ve only stopped the bleeding, though nearby markets like Sweden and Norway are displaying more aggressive recoveries.

20 Responses

  1. Visitor

    So that’s Scandinavia, Germany, & the Netherlands.
    The big shoe to drop as a leading indicator for the US would be the UK, but I’m not sure if we’ve seen anything similar there.
    Are we seeing a partner that states less affected by the Great Recession are seeing a faster recovery in their entertainment sector than those more affected (like the US, UK, & Mediterranean Europe)? I’ve always suspected entertainment spending is a lagging indicator.

    • Visitor

      “partner = pattern” is your legend for the previous post

    • Visitor

      if we’ve finally hit bottom all it means is that we now know about how many honest people there are in the world to support artists.

  2. Visitor

    “Both downloads and albums are decreasing, which means streaming is effectively the only growth story here.”
    Yes, it’s the same story everywhere:
    Streaming kills sales!

    • Visitor

      You say that as if sales hadn’t decreased for how many years in a row before Spotify launched and streaming began to take hold? “Streaming kills sales!” is such ripe oversimplification.
      And if ultimately streaming results in more revenue for artists (as indicated by a growing market), who cares?

  3. Yves Villeneuve

    How did streaming subscriptions increase? Due to the dramatic increase, my guess is through a mobile bundle where consumers are conned into subscribing to a so-called free Premium subscription they will never use. Even though revenues are increasing does not necessarily mean music is becoming more popular… the fiction is established in the mobile bundles… Beware of con artists.

    • GGG

      Or maybe because people like to stream music? Just like a lot of people now like to stream TV shows and movies?
      I think you should make a rule to start taking the tin foil hat off at least 10 minutes a day.

      • Yves Villeneuve

        Do some research. When did Deutsche Telecom start offering bundles in the Netherlands?

        • GGG

          Until you can show data that says some grand percentage of people who CHOSE to buy Spotify bundles don’t ever use it, your speculation is, as usual for you, complete and utter bullshit.

          • Yves Villeneuve

            Nice spin. First of all, they don’t “buy” the bundle. They simply subscribe without cost to check out what they offer. It is common knowledge that only 10% keep using it, 30% if you believe Spotify. If you are going to challenge, you also have to challenge Spotify’s active subscriber claims that only 30% of registered users are active… Good luck! My bullshit is backed by evidence.
            If Spotify would report total annual streams you would see stream growth is hardly increasing at subscriber growth. Is Spotify publishing total annual streams? If no, you now have the reason why they don’t. They are reporting individual song streams why not total annual song streams? Apple releases total song download data at important milestones. When and what was the last important Spotify streams milestone and corresponding subscriber total?

          • GGG

            Uh, you pay money and there are different price levels of subscribing to these phone bundles. Maybe you still trade moose pelts, but in normal society a transaction of money is called buying.
            If your bullshit is backed, link to it for once.
            What’s the difference between growth if activity grows due to someone subscribing on their own or with a bundle. You realize some people might actually want the bundles, right? Or do you want to just flat out say you think all Europeans are a bunch of mindless suckers?
            And I think making stream numbers public is pretty important. They could easily hide those numbers.

          • Yves Villeneuve

            These Spotified bundles are usually free upgrades to existing telecom subscriptions. The intent is to make customers loyal to the telecom firm, since Spotify playlists can’t be transferred to another music subscription service. Unfortunately for these firms, only 10%, 30% if you believe Spotify, keep using the music service. A waste of telecom investor money.
            Here is the link you requested, the data was retrieved from company reports to make these pie charts.
            From your statement, I gather Spotify does not publish total streams like Apple publishes total song downloads. If they do, provide a link to back it. Spotify is not what I call transparent versus Apple’s level of transparency. I’ve already explained why Spotify does not publish total streams.
            I’ll let you have the last word with spin included since you believe it is the only criteria in winning an argument.

  4. Visitor

    This trainwreck wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory “nobody likes pirates” post followed by a lecture on the stunning new, coordinated anti-piracy efforts…………..anybody?

  5. Visitor

    Music piracy is legal in the Netherlands. Clearly pirates buy more.

  6. You don't get it, do you?

    You don’t get it, do you? When EVERY song is available online (on YouTube, etc.) for FREE streaming (sometimes the labels themselves upload their artists’ videos), who is going to pay for streaming or downloading? It doesn’t make sense.

    In 2013, recorded music is 100% FREE. Artists can only make a living through live shows and merchandize (T-shirts, hats, etc.). Well, at least for a few more years when in my opinion offline shows will be totally replaced by online shows, which will be 100% FREE as well.

    • Tune Hunter

      100% agreed -in 2013 it is free.
      Mr. Francis Keeling likes it free and he is very optimistic with digital divelopments or “business models. Spotify, Veevoo – wow!
      He controls 60% of music and he has a vision – just Google some articles he wrote!

    • GGG

      Online streaming of shows will certainly get more popular but you’re crazy if you think people will stop going to live events (assuming you’re a half-decent act, that is). Why do people still go to sporting events, why do people still go the movies, hell why do people still interact with human beings in general? You CAN do all of that at home. But most of us aren’t shut-ins like you, I guess.

  7. Tune Hunter

    2013-03-07 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-02-28 3.0% 2.97%
    2013-04-09 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-03-31 2.9% 3.0% 2.8%
    2013-05-07 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-04-30 2.6% 2.9% 2.8%
    2013-06-06 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-05-31 2.80% 2.6% 2.7% 2.56%
    2013-07-04 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-06-30 2.9% 2.80% 3.1% 2.74%
    2013-08-08 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-07-31 3.1% 2.9% 1.8% 2.85%
    2013-09-05 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-08-31 3.1% 3.04%
    2013-10-10 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-09-30 3.02%
    2013-11-07 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-10-31 3%
    2013-12-05 08:30 AM NETHERLANDS INFLATION RATE YOY 2013-11-30 3%
    STILL SHRINKING – slightly over 1% based on inflation.
    Spotify is a poison killing new and unactivated opportunities.

  8. Arno Prins

    The figures in the two graphes do not add up. The first graph mentiones 58.1 mil gross turnover in the first half of 2013. Let’s assume that a full year result in 2013 could be twice this number, so approx 116 euros mln for a full year. (Ok there’s little nuance here, but it’s a ballpark figure…)
    The second graph projects a turnover in 2013 of well over 180 mill. So there is a gap of roughly 64 mill… Huh? The reason is that they use 2 different methods. The second graph is euro’s that consumers spend, the first one is euro’s that the industry makes, without the distribution/retail costs.
    Confused? Is the Netherlands back on track? Do streamerservices actually offset the lost turnover on CD’s? Let’s hope so, but the used graphes and figures do not make things more transparent.
    Regrads from Amsterdam, the Netherlands